Are the SATs Needed? | Teen Ink

Are the SATs Needed?

October 30, 2018
By Bethany28 BRONZE, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
Bethany28 BRONZE, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments

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Imagine this. A high school senior comes home, deflated and stressed. That high-school student’s voice shook with embarrassment. Their shoulders slouch in defeat. Shame is in their eyes. Plenty of things could have happened to this student. This student was planning on going to college—he had everything planned out. Everything. But his efforts were worthless. He thought his GPA was good enough to good enough to get into his top college, and it was, but alas, his standardized testing scores weren’t good enough. He thought that he was prepared, but when the time came, everything he had prepared for seemingly wasn’t there.

Because of his SAT score, he now had the thought in his head that he wasn’t good enough.

In 1926, Carl Brigham published a book, A Study of American Intelligence, more commonly known today as the SATs. He made it as a college admissions test, and it is still widely used. 95 percent of colleges in America say they require either the SAT or the ACT for admission, but are the SATs really needed? The SATs are supposed to see the student’s readiness for college, but does it actually show how ready a student is for college?

In school, students are seemed to be constantly faced with standardized tests. In classes, teachers are constantly warning them and preparing students for standardized tests in middle school, and then they pressure students about their SATs and their ACTs later on in highschool. Pressuring a student on these tests can alter their results—and not in a positive way. Students can get test anxiety, and this may make them goof up their test and not get a good score. Standardized testing has not improved student achievement. On May 26th, 2011, the National Council report found no evidence that test-based incentive programs are working. Also, standardized testing really isn’t a reliable measure of student performance. 50%-80% of the scores that dropped in 2001 were caused by things that didn’t have anything to do with long-term learning. These tests can stress teachers out along with students. Stress can have a negative health effect and can make these teachers and students have a poor outlook towards school in general, causing their grades to fall if they aren’t trying due to this negative outlook towards their classes.

Because the SATs are a large test that have a lot of importance for your future, it can really stress a student out. The SATs are timed, and when a student is required to complete a text within a certain time period, the stress they have can increase, therefore, the effect of anxiety on a student about their test performance can rise. This can cause the test score to go down when it really isn’t even the student’s fault. Colleges should rather look for well rounded individuals, and look at the student’s high school activities and their grades, and not just a test that shows how better you are than another person.

The SATs are used to show a student’s readiness for college, but it doesn’t show their true ability as a student. A student could have the best grades or the best GPA, but if they do poorly on their SATs, it won’t matter. A student’s grades from high school will mean more than the test.

These tests may show how well someone can complete a math problem, but they do not show a student’s creativity or their passion for something. Standardized tests cannot accurately measure a student’s diligence or their determination. Having a poor test score may make a student feel a variety of unpleasant things. It may make them feel sad and disappointed in themselves, wondering why they didn’t do better or why they didn’t pass. It could ruin a student’s outlook on themselves.

The SATs overlook certain things. For example, if a student is gifted in dramatic arts or something along those lines, they would not be able to showcase their talent. Also, the SATs don’t show how well a student can actually do something, it just pinpoints what a person is good at academically.

In some circumstances, the SATs can be helpful. They can show what a student can improve on, and they can show their college preparedness. The SATs usually have an essay, and when the time comes for them to write it, they will be prepared for when they send emails and things. This also gives students an actual chance to apply the things they had learned in high school in the real world.



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